From the Rector: May 2023
Dear Parish Family,
The poet T.S. Eliott once wrote, “April is the cruelest month.” Unfortunate for him not to experience the past month here at St. James! Indeed, our worship, gatherings and celebrations filled the season. We have so much for which to be grateful.
St. James entered April with a full house combined 10:30 am service on Palm Sunday. The palm procession made quite a visible statement to Third Street travelers that morning, and the Passion Narrative - complete with voices across our congregation - set a good context for the Holy Week to come. Noon day Eucharists through the week kept the sacred timeline moving forward until Maundy Thursday evening. That worship, complete with a traditional footwashing and the stripping of our altar, created a beautiful tone for the three days to follow.
Good Friday was a sunny day, as we gathered for Stations of the Cross at our beautiful Mount Lebanon Chapel. The new handmade banners were an extraordinary addition to the occasion, which finished with worship inside the Chapel. Our downtown Easter Vigil on Saturday evening, complete with a baptism, allowed for our first celebration of the risen Christ.
Easter was a joy. Well over 800 people filled our pews across five services to praise God with abounding alleluias for the foundational moment of our faith. Our sanctuary was absolutely beautiful. May I offer thanks to all those who contributed with their hands and hearts of love for our Easter celebrations.
April also witnessed our youth creating Easter baskets for children at Episcopal Farmworkers Ministry. We launched twenty-four people to experience and witness the beauty of the Holy Land, and sent nine Men on Missioners to offer tangible support to our friends at Glory Ridge in Madison County.
Bishop Rob joined us on the afternoon of April 23rd, as eighteen adults made their commitment (or re-commitment) to Christ, through baptism, confirmation, reception and reaffirmation. Here was another meaningful reflection of hope for our parish family.
In and among the days of April, we gathered in our sanctuary to celebrate many lives well lived. We came together in small groups to share a meal, or to learn more fully about our neighbors here in Wilmington, or to reflect on shared experiences of grief, or to discuss racial reconciliation. Our smaller group gatherings are powerful ways for us to build community..
How beautiful that on the very last day of April, our Evangelism Commission provided a welcome luncheon in the Great Hall for over twenty five newcomers to our parish family. Thank you Evangelism Commission!
With April behind us, we move forward with great momentum for the seasons to come. I remain grateful to serve as your Rector, and to share in this vibrant and joyful community of Christ.
“I was glad when they said to me, let us go to the house of the Lord.”